A good headset can make a big difference when playing games. Whether you like to get immersed in the game with the music of sound effects or you need to hear every enemy footstep to know where they are, choosing the right pair of headphones for you can be quite a task. You should look at overall build quality, how comfortable they are, how they sound, and if the microphone sounds good. If you don’t need a microphone, then most wired, critical listening headphones would be a good option.
So far, we've reviewed over 425 headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets to buy. Also see our recommendations for the best PS4 headsets, the best Xbox One headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.
The best gaming headset we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. These premium headphones come with a wireless transmitter, offering you more ways to interact with your audio while you game.
This wireless transmitter is great for those who like to mix console and mobile audio as they go. It can charge one of the two swappable batteries while you play and as each battery has over 15 hours of continuous life, you won't have to worry about your headphones dying during a 1v1. The headphones themselves also produce a very well-balanced, neutral audio, making them good for both epic gaming soundtracks and your music. If you need more control over your audio, the SteelSeries Engine desktop app offers a graphic EQ and DTS surround sound.
On the downside, their comfortable and unique ski-band headband might not fit properly each time you wear it, which could mean that you might not get the same consistent audio each time you wear them. The headband is also only adjustable to a certain extent - if you have a large head or thick hair, then you might not be able to get a good fit. However, these are exceptional headphones that both casual and pro gamers will enjoy thanks to their thoughtful features and customizability.
If you like to customize your headphones' sound profile to better suit your needs, get the Logitech G933. They might not feel as sturdy and well-built as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, but they're compatible with G HUB, which is one of the most complete and user-friendly apps we've seen so far. They also have three customizable buttons directly on the headset, which can be programmed to whatever action you'd like. You can switch profiles, switch lighting effects, or any other command that you want. They also come with different cables, including one that has a mobile-friendly remote if you want to use it with your phone. You can expect over 10 hours of playtime with the lights on, which is a bit disappointing but should still last you long enough for long gaming sessions. The newer Logitech G935 Wireless Gaming Headset sounds better out-of-the-box, but the provided audio cable doesn't include an in-line remote if you want to use the headphones with your smartphone on-the-go.
Get the SteelSeries if you prefer a more feature-packed, premium design, but if customization is what matters most for you, then you’ll want to go for the Logitech.
The best wired gaming headset we've tested so far is the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019. Thanks to their wired connection, these headphones keep lag and dwindling battery life from interrupting your gameplay.
If you like to tweak and personalize your sound experience as you go, the included MixAmp can help enhance audio cues. You can even toggle between several EQ presets as well as control your channel mixing volume using the MixAmp. Their exceptional boom microphone also makes sure that you're heard clearly by your teammates, even in loud environments like gaming tournaments. As they come in PS4 or Xbox One variants, PC users can use either variant.
On the downside, they're open-back headphones and by design, they don't really block out background sound so it can be difficult for you to hear your audio in noisier environments. They also have a weak and uneven treble that some may not like. Luckily the Astro Command Center companion software offers a graphic EQ that can help you find the right sound for your needs. These reliable headphones are a solid pick if you like a wired connection.
If you're looking for one of the best wired gaming headsets like the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 and want to save a bit of money, then go with the Logitech G433. These gaming headphones might not come with a dedicated app that offers as many features, but they come with multiple accessories, making them a bit more versatile. You get extra pads, a carrying pouch, and a few extra cables in the box. One of the cables even has a typical in-line remote that's mobile-friendly, meaning you can use your headphones easily with your phone. They also sound accurate and well-balanced, on top of being comfortable for long gaming sessions. When gaming on a PC, you can use the USB adapter to get access to G HUB. These headphones also have a better microphone. However, note that their porous pads don't isolate very well against ambient noise and might be a bit leaky for some.
Overall, if you need a headset with tons of features and easy access to volume controls, go with the Astro. For a less expensive pair that can be used as your daily driver, the Logitech are far more versatile.
The best gaming headset for Xbox One that we've tested so far is the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019. These headphones feel very premium and high-end thanks to their great build quality and very comfortable pads. You can wear these for hours without feeling discomfort. They're wireless and come with a nice charging dock that has a lot of different inputs and offers minimal latency.
Sound-wise, these headphones sound well-balanced and neutral, which will let you hear games the way the developers intended them to be heard. Their microphone is also excellent and provides a rich and full-bodied voice, which is great for a headset boom microphone. You can expect over 15 hours of battery life with these headphones and if you use them on PC, you have access to the Astro Command Center which offers a few sound and microphone customization options.
Unfortunately, you need the dock station to make these headphones work and you can't simply plug them in, which makes them a bit less versatile. Also, while their padding is very comfortable, it doesn't isolate much from outside noise, which means ambient noise will seep into your game audio; be sure to use them in a quiet environment. Overall, this is one of the best wireless gaming headsets we've reviewed and is great for the Xbox One.
The Corsair HS60 is the best budget gaming headset we've tested so far. These comfortable wired headphones can be worn for long gaming sessions and have a great price-to-performance ratio that's sure to please gamers and their wallets alike.
They have a fairly balanced and neutral sound profile that can be tweaked using their iCUE companion software's EQ. Their microphone is decent and your teammates shouldn't have any trouble understanding you but your voice may lack a similarly full-bodied and clear sound than other headphones on this list. Still, they're quite versatile thanks to their 1/8" TRRS connection which makes them fully compatible with PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
On the downside, their design can be prone to inconsistent bass delivery and users with glasses or thick hair may experience a significant drop in bass if they don't have a proper seal on their ears. They also don't really reduce background noise around you and perform best in quiet gaming spaces such as your home. Still, if you're trying to minimize your expenses, these headphones are a good choice.
If you often struggle to be heard by your teammates or you're focused on microphone performance for online multiplayer games, then get the HyperX Cloud Stinger. While these gaming headphones have a plasticky feel to them compared to the Corsair HS60, their boom microphone has a better recording quality. Voices are clear and full, even in loud environments like gaming tournaments, so you don't need to worry about your voice getting lost in background noise. On the downside, they don't have a companion app or software to help personalize your sound experience, but their 1/8" connector makes it easy to use them on other consoles or PC.
Get the Corsair if you like to customize your sound and if you prefer a more premium-feeling gaming headset. However, if you're invested in multiplayer games or voice chat and need a microphone to clearly capture your voice, get the HyperX.
05/15/2020: Minor text and structure changes. No change in recommendations.
02/21/2020: Replaced SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless with Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019. Updated price discrepancy for Corsair HS60.
01/21/2020: Removed 'Best Home Theater Alternative', 'Best Earbuds for Gaming'. The Arctis Pro GameDAC is now mentioned with the Arctis Pro Wireless text instead of being a selection on its own.
10/25/2019: Replaced Astro A50 with Astro A50 Gen 4 2019.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones and the best gaming earbuds to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones that are good for gaming. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you do not care about having a microphone or wireless features.